ITU marks World Television Day

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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is celebrating World Television Day, saying TV has become an integral part of life, accounting for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.

Marked globally on 21 November, World Television Day recognises the medium as a major source of news, information, education and entertainment.

The ITU says as television broadcasting increases its footprint globally and streams onto multiple portable devices, it now generates the highest online traffic.

According to the ITU, since it first released technical standards for television 70 years ago in 1949, the body has developed globally harmonised standards that have “progressively enhanced the television viewing experience in terms of both visual and audio quality”.

It says from early standards for colour TV, to developing parameters for 4:3 and widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio television, ITU has championed the switch to digital TV broadcasting and high-definition television, enabling more services, better picture quality and improved coverage owing to an increase in transmitted bandwidth capacity.

“Building further on the superior colour fidelity of ITU's Ultra-High Definition Television, ITU introduced High Dynamic Range Television, bringing increased realism to images,” it says in a statement.

ITU secretary-general Houlin Zhao says: "Television plays a crucial role in connecting the world to information and knowledge, while providing an unsurpassed channel for mass entertainment.

“World TV Day brings attention to ITU’s exemplary work in producing the standards that are driving future trends in broadcasting and Internet services that will bring an increasingly immersive experience to viewers around the world.”

The ITU says: “As 5G services complying with ITU's IMT-2020 spectrum allocations and standards are being rolled out over the coming years, the convergence of traditional broadcasting and Internet services could lead to the further merging of media content, data and applications using broadband networks delivered over a combination of terrestrial, satellite and Internet platforms.”

These “global platforms” may one day facilitate delivery of content to end-users on a wide range of devices and receiving platforms, using both broadcasting and non-broadcasting technologies, it notes.

"More than ever, television today provides information, news and entertainment to people wherever they may be," says Mario Maniewicz, director of the ITU Radio Communication Bureau.

"World TV Day focuses on the work of ITU over the last 70 years in developing new standards and systems for broadcasting, bringing them in line with the latest cutting-edge technologies designed to make high-quality television coverage available in affordable ways to people in the remotest areas of the world."

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